But What Did Students Learn?

Auburn University reports that it’s one of the first American colleges to participate in the Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA. According to the Auburn press release:

Recent results from a pioneering study involving more than two dozen colleges and universities across the nation show significant gains in the intellectual and academic skills of Auburn University students as they progress from freshmen to seniors.

The findings were presented today to the Auburn Board of Trustees, which has supported the university’s involvement in the program for data-based measurement of student learning since the program began in 2005.

Measuring the actual gains in knowledge students accrue while in college is one thing people who follow higher education have been interested in for many years. Colleges, however, have actively resisted making this information public.

Auburn reports that its results “place the university in the top third of the 26 institutions that completed all phases of the four-year study.”

At this point very few schools have completed the full study. Those 26 schools represent less than 1 percent of colleges and universities in the United States. Other schools include Ohio State University, Syracuse University, and George Washington University.

It will be interesting to see what these other schools found when they looked at student learning over four years of college.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer